Online gaming is simply playing an online game via the Internet, either on your personal computer, a website, or even through your telephone. There are several different types of online games and they include shooting, role-playing, racing, card games, puzzles and even chess. Some of the most popular online games are World of Warcraft (a complex massively multiplayer online role-playing game), Second Life (an online social game similar to a large-scale community like that of a real city), Agora (an action/adventure type game in which you explore a virtual environment), World of War craft (a strategy game where you build your own steamboat and travel through many levels online), Age of Conan (a vampire role-playing game set in ancient times), and Kerbal Space Program (a game in which you control a space ship and travel to several different planets). Even with these large and varied categories of online games, there is still a large majority of games that fall into the very specific category of “immersion gaming.” This means that while they may not involve any interaction with other real people or things, they do make use of the Internet as a way to create a completely fictional world, complete with a language, economy, culture, government, and even society.
One type of online gaming that fits this mold is what is known as “real time strategy.” This type of game makes great use of technology such as streaming audio and visual technology to immerse the player into a complete surround sound and visuals environment. While the game does not require players to actually participate in anything that would otherwise happen in the “real world,” players still have the ability to communicate using text chat, create a profile (which is synced up with their real-time online account), interact with fellow players, watch videos, take part in contests, and much more.
Although there has been much debate over the years about the effects of online gaming, there is no doubt that it has had a positive impact on the way society views and treats people who enjoy it. Many scientists, researchers, and social scientists have even taken a look at the increasing popularity of online gaming as a possible cause of increasing cases of online harassment. Given all of the ways that players can create a completely fictional virtual world, it is likely that the phenomenon of online gaming has also given rise to some of the most harmful types of online harassment.